Much like the blizzard of 2005, the wind patterns made the job a lot easier. There was just a little snow on the stoop, and none on the walk or next to the cars. There was a small drift between the truck and the Subaru, and then about 8' of 15" deep snow pushed into the end of the driveway by the plows.
The blower worked pretty well for the most part. The snow was light and fluffy, so the blower didn't have to strain much to move it. Well, except that it was really too deep. I think about twelve inches deep is probably the limit. Anything deeper than that, and the exit ports are blocked, so it can't throw the snow properly, which strains the motor. Fortunately, it's not terribly heavy, about the same weight as a snow shovel with a good load of snow on it, so you can pick it up and skim off the top half of the snow, and then go back and do the bottom half normally. Of course, lifting something that weighs as much as a fully loaded snow shovel sort of defeats the whole purpose of having the snowblower in the first place. Since it's not self propelled, even pushing the thing takes about the same effort as plowing with a snow shovel. In the end, I still worked up a pretty good sweat.
Here's the thing, though. Even with the having to lift the thing to skim, it was still probably less strenuous than shoveling. If nothing else, I didn't have to lift the thing very high, nor did I have to throw any shovelfulls of snow onto big piles. I think a lot of the effort was because this was an exceptional storm. If it had been 6", instead, this thing would've made it a piece of cake. The only other snag I ran into was that 100' of extension cord just barely reaches to my mailbox, so I had to drag the cord diagonally across the snow to get it to reach so I could clear that out for the mail carrier.
I also learned that it doesn't do much good to throw the snow into the wind.
All in all, well worth the investment in its first major test.
At the tail end of the storm last night, I noticed a rescue vehicle drive up our street with its lights flashing. It stopped a few houses up, and it looked like they loaded the woman who lives there onto the gurney. I have no idea what happened, but she did come out of the house to get onto the gurney, and they had her sitting upright on it, so that's encouraging. This morning I noticed that there's a realtor's sign out in front of the house. It must have gone up Saturday afternoon, because it wasn't there when I drove by the house Saturday morning. That seems odd, because they just put an addition on the house last year.
In perfect timing news, I got new tires for the truck Saturday. Ummmm, traction...